With the new iPhone app Peach, users swipe right or left on wholesale field greens and beef patties rather than potential love interests. It’s an app built for the restaurant industry, letting sellers advertise their products and restaurant managers quickly browse and order what they need.
“You can think of it as a Tinder for products,” said co-founder Daniel Ehevich.
But it’s not just about browsing products that might be appealing. Ehevich and co-founder Mario Barrett envision Peach as a way for restaurants to get all of their sourcing done quickly using local purveyors. It’s meant to save restaurant managers time and help small-scale farmers find customers.
Local farms and other providers make a Peach profile and list their items for sale. Buyers can search through this list, filtering for things like vegan and non-GMO. They can also browse a list of offerings, swiping right or left to approve or disapprove of what they see.
The idea for Peach came when Barrett and Ehevich, both current MBA students in UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, were looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity. They spoke with chefs and restaurant managers, who said that they spend an average of two hours each workday on sourcing, and decided to simplify that process. “There are restaurants that work with 30 different suppliers,” Ehevich said. “It’s a sourcing nightmare.”
“We can streamline their entire process … they can do repeat orders on our system from multiple people at once.”
Peach entered beta testing in March 2014 and has about 40 users so far. Barrett and Ehevich are focusing on the Austin area for now but users from other parts of the country are starting to discover the app.
The Peach team first spent time populating the app with sellers and are now pitching it to buyers. Gaining users is their top concern now and finding profitability will follow. One potential revenue stream is to get into distribution or food market analytics.
As it exists now, Peach connects buyers and sellers, who then complete the transaction themselves, usually with cash on delivery. There is no Ebay-like escrow service and Peach does not provide delivery.
The app takes up most of their time already, Barrett said, but when the two graduate from the McCombs School in May their efforts will ramp up even further and they will look for seed money.